Watch James Taylor Sing Garth Brooks At 43rd Kennedy Center Honors

Brooks is celebrated alongside Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Midori, and Dick Van Dyke.

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James Taylor publicity Norman Seeff
Photo: Norman Seeff

The Kennedy Center has shared a short preview clip from tonight’s (6) US broadcast of its 43rd Kennedy Center Honors, in which James Taylor performs in tribute to one of this year’s honorees, country giant Garth Brooks.

The show will air at 8pm ET on CBS, with Brooks celebrated alongside artist, choreographer, and actress Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez; violinist Midori; and actor Dick Van Dyke.

James Taylor performs at the Kennedy Center Honors (SNEAK PEEK!)

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Taylor performs Brooks’ song “The River,” originally from the latter’s record-breaking 1991 album Ropin’ The Wind, and his ninth country No.1 when released as a single the following year. Brooks is shown in the clip wiping tears from his eyes during the performance.

Another clip of show highlights is available on the Kennedy Center’s YouTube channel, in which Kelly Clarkson, who also performs in tribute to Brooks, says of him: “He’s one of those artists that is so captivating, you close your eyes and picture the performance, and I don’t think many people can do that.”

43rd Kennedy Center Honors Highlights (June, 2021)

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Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein remarks: “The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world. Debbie Allen moves seamlessly between artistic disciplines and is a cultural ambassador for all while having a monumental impact on dancers of color everywhere; folk icon Joan Baez breathed new life into the genre and powered rock music’s turn toward social and political consciousness.

“As one of the world’s best-selling music artists, Garth Brooks heightened country music’s profile like no other singer before him; with an international presence for over 35 years, violinist Midori combines graceful precision and expression for performances building connections between art and the human experience; with a charm that has made him one of the most cherished performers in show business history, Dick Van Dyke has brought us beloved film, stage, and TV characters adored by generations of fans, for more than seven decades.”

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